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Homework Help: Magnitude of acceleration given the orbit

  1. Mar 7, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A satellites are placed in a circular orbit that is 3.22 × 105 m above the surface of the earth. What is the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity at this distance?

    2. Relevant equations
    a = MG/R^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    For the above formula I have trouble because I do not know the mass of the satellite. I end up with

    a = M (6.67 x 10^-11)/(6.38 x 10^6 + 3.22 x 10^5)^2
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Which mass does the M in your Relevant Equation represent?

    Also, be sure to not forget that the radius in the denominator must be squared.
  4. Mar 7, 2014 #3
    Does it represent the mass of the earth?

    EDIT: It does represent the mass of the Earth. Thank you!!
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